Consequences of Reckless Driving in Illinois

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Illinois driving laws are designed to keep the roads safe for all that inhabit them. If you are charged with reckless driving in Illinois you may have to pay a fine, go to jail, or both. There are different classes of reckless driving, each with their own penalties attached. To avoid a reckless driving charge, use common sense and always keep your eyes on the road.

Reckless Definition

  • Section 11-503 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes states that anyone who operates a vehicle with a "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property" is guilty of reckless driving. This means that regardless of intention, if you are caught driving recklessly you will be penalized. Reckless driving also refers to using any sort of incline -- such as a hill or bridge approach -- as a means of getting your vehicle airborne. Anyone convicted of reckless driving in Illinois will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Causing Harm

  • If you cause damage to another human being while driving recklessly in Illinois, you will be charged with a different penalty. For example, if you're driving recklessly and injure either a child or school crossing guard you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. If your reckless driving causes great bodily harm to another -- outside of a child or crossing guard -- you will be charged with aggravated reckless driving, which is also a Class 4 felony. If your reckless driving causes great bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard, you will also be charged with aggravated reckless driving and be faced with a Class 3 felony. Great bodily harm is defined as causing disfigurement or permanent disability.

Penalties

  • Reckless driving penalties in Illinois can vary based upon the charges you are faced with. If you are charged and convicted of a Class A reckless driving misdemeanor, you will lose your license for at least three months and be jailed for a maximum of one year. You will pay a maximum fine of $2,500. A Class 4 felony charge will cause you to lose your license for at least three months, and face a maximum jail sentence of three years. You will have to pay a maximum fine of $25,000. A Class 3 felony will result in license suspension for at least three months, incarceration between two and five years, and a maximum fine of $25,000. All forms of reckless driving will result in 55 points being added to your Illinois license. Points are levied for driving offenses.

Licensing and Points

  • If you are charged with three counts of reckless driving in Illinois within a one-year period, your license will be taken away for one year. Only after a year has passed can you petition to have it reinstated. If you are charged with reckless driving for the first time but already have points against you from a previous driving infraction, your license can be suspended for longer than three months. The amount of time your license will be suspended depends on how many points you have lodged against you. For example, if you have 110 points total, you will lose your license for 12 months. Penalties increase for repeat offenders.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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